Statement on the Terror Attack on Muslim Welfare House, London.
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the sickening terror attack on the Muslim Welfare House near Finsbury Park last night. Clearly, this despicable cowardly attack was deliberately planned to slaughter innocent worshippers at a place of worship during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
We, the British People, of all faiths and heritages Stand Together United and will never allow hatred, evil, and cowardly acts of terror to succeed in dividing our United Kingdom.
As a nation, we must do more to ensure our streets are safe for all our citizens. Over the years, there has been far too much tolerance of extremism. Mainstream media has often played a role in in both demonising Muslims, and promoting (even if unwittingly) extremists, feeding intolerance.
While there has understandably been a focus on Daesh (ISIS) and other islamist extremism, the elephant in the room is the massive growth of Far-Right extremism all over Europe, and in the United States. Only on Sunday, a 17-year-old American Muslim girl, Nabra Hassanen was beaten, abducted, and later found dead, after leaving a mosque in Virginia, United States.
Now the Far-Right are scaling up their attacks on Muslims, Jews, and other minorities, along with those who defend the Human Rights of everyone. The murder of Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham by Pavlo Lapshyn, the bombing of a mosque in Tipton in the West Midlands, attempted attacks on other mosques across the country targeting Friday and Ramadan prayers, and the murder of Jo Cox MP one year ago by Britain First supporter, Thomas Mair.
Professor Nigel Copsey, Teesside University, wrote a report back in 2013 that showed around 40-60% of mosques and other Islamic centres (around 700) have been targeted with violence.
The media need to cease calling these anti-Muslim acts of terrorism, ‘revenge attacks’. British Muslims, along with Muslims around the world despise Daesh and similar terror groups. Muslims themselves are the biggest victims of islamist terrorists, both as direct victims of the attacks themselves, and indirectly as the ignorant and anti-Muslim extremists target Muslims in the wake of terror attacks. How therefore can it be an act of revenge to attack Muslims for the sickening, cruel, and cowardly attacks of Daesh terrorists?
Terrorism is terrorism, whoever is responsible and whatever their motivations. Terrorism is never acceptable in a civilised society.
Cowardly losers who hide behind veils of religious and nationalist extremism to target innocent people are equally contemptible. We will never allow you to divide us.
We Stand United!
Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims.